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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research
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eISSN: 1643-3750

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“Star” suture opacities of the crystalline lens: an illustrative report in AIDS patients

Bruce I. Gaynes

Med Sci Monit 2005; 11(2): PI9-13

ID: 14164


Background:Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is disease of epidemic proportion associated with significant visual morbidity. Visual complications of AIDS have been described as a result of cytomegaloviral retinitis as well as fungal and protozoan opportunistic eye disease. Although cataracts have been established as a direct consequence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or AIDS, studies suggest that HIV disease may indeed be a risk factor for the development of cortical cataract. This report further characterizes potential lens abnormalities associated with HIV and AIDS by clearly demonstrating opacities associated with lens sutures in two AIDS patients with long-term use of nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs).Material/Methods:Case series demonstrating digitized slit lamp biomicroscopic anterior segment photos using indirect lens illumination.Results:Prominent “star” lens sutures of assumed abnormality typified by unusual branching and irregular caliber are photo-documented.Conclusions:Normally inconspicuous star suture branches are clearly demonstrated in two patients with AIDS and diabetes mellitus. Uncharacteristic star lens sutures have not been previously reported in AIDS patients however the occurrence of lens opacities due to HIV disease and AIDS is not without precedent. Despite the prominence and atypical nature of the illustrated lens sutures, assessment of morphologic abnormality is limited by lack of appropriate normative data describing star sutures clinically as a function of age and lens development.

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